“No carelessness in your actions. No confusion in your words. No imprecision in your thoughts. No retreating into your own soul, or trying to escape it. No overactivity.
They kill you, cut you with knives, shower you with curses. And that somehow cuts your mind off from clearness, and sanity, an self-control, and justice?
A man standing by a spring of clear, sweet water and cursing it. While the fresh water keeps on bubbling up. He can shovel mud into it, or dung and the stream will carry it away, wash itself clean, remain unstained.
To have that. Not a cistern, but a perpetual spring.
How? By working to win your freedom. Hour by hour. Through patience, honesty, humility.” – Marcus Aurelius
From what do you need to earn your freedom? From yourself, that is, from your own wickedness in the form of self-doubts, arrogance, judgments, fears and desire for approbation.
All men are at risk of becoming slaves to the world, not because the world is a mighty and irresistible master, but because of the refusal to strive for self-mastery. To be a master in living, you must be mastered; to lead you must follow.
Mastered by what, by whom? By universal reason. By logos. By love and truth. Once you submit fully to love and truth you become the means by which a new, powerful and unique beam of light is extended into the world.
No one can prevent you from becoming a perpetual spring. No one, that is, but you.